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GPs go forth

Patients directed to 111 or 999 as 13,000-patient practice cancels all appointments

A CCG directed patients to 111 or 999 after a practice cancelled ‘all immediate future appointments’.

Cleveland Surgery, in Gainsborough, which has a patient list size of almost 13,000, cancelled all appointments without any notice on 29 May.

Lincolnshire West CCG issued a statement confirming the cancellations and said that registered patients should refer to their local pharmacy, the Gainsborough Minor Injuries Unit, call NHS 111 or call 999.

The CCG statement said: ‘Due to unforeseen circumstances Cleveland Surgery, Gainsborough, will not be able to offer routine appointments for registered patients and all immediate future appointments have been cancelled.

‘Patients have been contacted and alternative arrangements are currently being identified for those affected.

‘Any registered patient who has an urgent, non-emergency, medical need is advised to contact their local pharmacy or call NHS111 who can signpost patients to the right care.

‘The Gainsborough Minor Injuries Unit will continue to be accessible to treat minor injuries. Patients who have a life-threatening emergency should call 999.

‘Lincolnshire West CCG is working hard to put in place alternative arrangements for patients so that they can continue to access services from the practice site.'

The practice closed due to ‘immediate concerns’ from the CCG and CQC following recent visits to the practice, according to the CCG.

However, the CCG issued a follow up statement saying the suspension had been lifted from 30 May.

It said: ‘We can confirm the surgery will reopen to provide services as normal.’

‘Having sought assurances from the CCG and NHS England and NHS Improvement – Midlands, the CQC have agreed to lift the suspension, however they will continue to monitor services closely.’

It continued: ‘We apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused and thank patients for their understanding during this time. Lincolnshire West CCG is supporting the practice and remains committed to ensuring services continue to be offered from this site, and that patients receive safe care.’




Readers' comments (23)

  • Another one bites the dust.....

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  • More to come especially in Lincolnshire one one the counties high on the list of total health service collapse.

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  • Just keep creating more unworkable rules and increase clinicians risks and reduce their income and more will bite the dust.

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  • Hope these colleagues are OK. Must have been a very difficult decision. Unfortunately outside of the immediate profession, nobody cares.

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  • Totally agree with @copernicus

    My first thoughts are that the strain on the partners must be untenable for such action. Wish them all well and that they are all in a better situation very soon.

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  • This “ Canary” is a serious warning to the CCG!
    Further cases will occur as staff mismatch grows.

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  • What madness is this, quitting before the PCN payment gonna buy a second house with mine

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  • Me thinks as CQC are currently inspecting (there website informs) this smacks of urgent enforcement ie forced shutdown

    Helps nobody in either short or long term especially as will have knock-on to the very few adjacent practitioners.

    The brave new NHS!

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  • could Pulse journalists please do more groundwork and find out what is going on....

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  • Domino Effect - once it starts...

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  • Major concern Domino effect slow motion free fall
    All as predicted

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  • For all the partners at that surgery, we can only imagine what must have led up to that final decision to call it a day.
    Most of us continue, day after day -because of our patients. We feel we would be letting them down, but also letting our staff down. We can't help but think about iur employees; their families, children and mortgages.
    (We are all employers as well as doctors)
    This responsibility is something we never really appreciated when we accepted our roles in practice.
    We are all closer to the position of this practice, to the final edge than at any time in our history.
    I have personally come very very close. It is my patients, staff and my partners who keep me going.
    I absolutely love my job. I would happily walk in and see patients in my 70s.
    Problem is, with this job, government and toxic atmosphere - most of us are going to the wall long before that.
    Well done to the doctors of that practice for staying so long. Sorry we couldn't all help you (and each other) and good luck to the rest of you.

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  • Its important we know what brought about this sudden demise as we are all sitting on the edge of the same cliff. Can anyone out there add any more information? Checking the web site shows few doctors and plenty of Noctors. was this relevant? was CQC involved- we need more information, not least to give us ammo in our arguments with our local CCGs

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  • One detects the fetid stench of the CQC in this one.

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  • Turn out lights isn’t too far off truth me thinks as minimal effort finds a statement from CCG around urgent safety concerns detected during inspection resulting in 24 hours shutdown.

    Given this wonder how long they will have the 1:1 support for and onwards consequences that need addressing?

    Best of luck to practice and staff.

    Wasn’t this same CCG involved in European Dr’s in the most Brexit supporting county???

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    Yep - CQC...

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  • How dare the CQC close a practice without due diligence
    Are the CQC safe effective well run caring etc?

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  • Took Early Retirement

    It's only when patients start hurting that someone will take notice. More please!

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  • thanks still hanging in there. the story is that CQC shut it and it has reopened the next day and CCG are working with it to sort out issues of concern. We similarly failed our inspection due to serious flaws such as not washing the window curtains twice a year but only once. The doctors were also found to be putting patients in danger by drinking a cup of hot tea while consulting. (I kid you not)

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  • The RCGP and BMA should be assessing the CQC
    It seems not to practice to the ethical standards we all adhere to
    I am soooo frustrated even though I have left the practice after 34.5 years
    Practices are starved of resources, paying high Locum rates, working extremely long hours and expected to excel in all aspects
    A recipe for poor retention, high mental heath illness in GPs and collapse of he system
    Only saints or misguided optimists are holding the system together with sticky tape

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  • It sounds like poorly-thought-out CQC action has caused harm and distress to many patients.
    I hope some of them complain to the GMC about the actions of the medical lead of the CQC???

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    Hot off the press - CQC closed them down as they had pathology forms on the window sills, hot tea on the desk, and paper blue tacked to the walls.

    The last straw was toys in the waiting room. Urgent closure of practice, to keep patients safe.

    Knock on effect serious stress for all the practice, patients, and a reason for the CQC to exist.

    Don't worry about the cancer diagnosis missed as cancelled appointments and now the patient would think to return until a few months down the line by which time it has spread.

    CQC morale victory against lazy and dangerous GPs!

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  • "1. CQC inspections too demanding in the context of funding cuts.

    2. Annual appraisals sold as a chat over tea and now extremely onerous and time-consuming endless unpaid paperwork with unpredictable appraisers from overly OCD to supportive if you are lucky.

    3. 5 yearly career ending revalidation, multiple the bureaucracy of appraisals by 5. As in 5 times complete audit cycles, 5 times multiple source feedbacks, 5 times patient surveys, clinical cases, CPD etc. When do GPs have time to see patients?

    4. Lack of GP workforce means no holidays, working overtime, no locums, burnout.

    5. CCGs now delegating what used to be outpatient clinical care onto GP’s laps so many feel out of their clinical expertise and fearful of the GMC if they make a mistake with treating a patient who should be under hospital consultant care but this is now called community care.

    6. 10 minute appointments when in Europe and abroad GPS get 20+ minutes to safely treat a patient. Interruptions and phone consults added in between 10 minute slots or added at the end of an exhaustive list,

    7. Seeing colleagues enjoy the best of both worlds emigrating to Canada or Australia to work safely as a GP.

    8. Pressure from CCGs to reduce hospital referrals, to cut expenditure on prescriptions, to deliver safe care without a minimum practice income guarantee, having to fire staff to make ends meet and watching single mums in tears as they lose their jobs working for practices.

    9. Fear of a GMC referral as investigations may take up to a year during which time the GP may be treated as guilty until proven innocent and God forbid the DM gets ahold of any investigation and publicly shamed a GP before he has had his right to a fair trial.

    10. Students are reconsidering whether medicine is a viable profession when other professions pay double, with free weekends and evenings to enjoy a life and are able to repay student loans. Training is so many years to be a GP. They ask is it worth it?

    11. When you know a GP colleague who has ended his or her life, you start to question whether it is time to retire early, emigrate or change paths.

    12. When you are fearful and anxious, as you may be referred to the gmc for a domestic squabble, raising a voice to a train conductor, drink driving, depression, a jealous colleague, an angry patient who does not get what he or she demands, and think if I were in any other job, I would not be treated like a criminal.

    13. When you decide you need to put yourself and your family’s well being first above the needs of overworking as a GP to an early grave."

    A company founded on the principle of goodwill/charity from its workforce refuses to compensate hard work....

    Unfortunately until people stop seeing medicine as some sort of calling from the heavens above (the sort Noah had) the NHS will continue to take advantage of hard working employees expecting them to bend down further and take it deeper instead of questioning why their hard work isn't being compensated.

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